Labeling every part of Gaza as connected to Hamas makes every part of Gaza a legitimate military target. This is what Israel did with the Gaza Health Ministry and Al-Shifa Hospital, echoed uncritically by Western mainstream media.
Western Media’s blatant hypocrisy that insists on transforming the Palestinian struggle for liberation into either terrorism or antisemitism is a clear declaration that Israeli lives are more valuable than Palestinian lives. One of the blatant examples of the Western media’s adoption of the Israeli government’s propaganda is its reference to Gaza’s Health Ministry as “Hamas-run.” This language can be seen in the reporting of the BBC, CNN, and the New York Times, among many others, a terminology meant to demonize Palestinians, subconsciously divert the sympathy of readers from the horrific and rising Palestinian death toll and ultimately justify the Israeli genocide in Gaza.
This Western media bias serves as an extension of the foreign policy of Europe and the U.S. and acts to foment exclusive sympathy for Israel at the expense of the Palestinians.
In this crucial moment of survival for the Palestinians, attaching “Hamas-governed” to Gaza, and “Hamas-run” to its Health Ministry — almost every time — poses a real threat to the lives of the Palestinians in Gaza, because Israel’s association of anything Palestinian with Hamas is an implicit association of Palestinians with evil, essentially making Palestinian lives dispensable, from the newborn to the elderly. Netanyahu took this even further by calling Hamas ISIS in the first few weeks of the so-called war.
Of course, the constant reference to the “Hamas-run Health Ministry” in the context of reports on the Palestinian death toll hints to readers and viewers that the numbers they are seeing are suspect and that the 2.3 million lives in Gaza are not valuable. It reinforces the false claim of Israel’s self-defense, which caused the death of over 8,000 Palestinian children and 92 journalists so far. This language mirrors the same degradation and dehumanization of Palestinians, both alive and dead, that was demonstrated by U.S. President Joe Biden’s statement that he did not “trust” the accuracy of the number of dead Palestinians.
Instead of Western media informing their readers that the data center in Gaza responsible for counting and publicizing the death toll has been targeted, they keep casting doubts regarding the death toll itself. This data collection center was at Al-Shifa’, but it was destroyed when the Israeli army invaded the hospital. In addition, of the four in charge of the center, one of them has been killed by an airstrike that hit the hospital itself, and the three others have been abducted since mid-November when Al-Shifa’ was invaded and evacuated, according to a report by Reuters.
It is true that the death toll might indeed be inaccurate, but only because the real numbers are much higher, as an untold number of Palestinians remain buried under the rubble. Their retrieval remains impossible because the Israeli army has cut off access to certain areas and left countless bodies rotting in the streets.
Gaza is Gaza. It is not the “Hamas-Governed Gaza.” If it simply must have an adjective or description attached to its name, it would reflect better journalistic practice to offer any number of other designations, such as “besieged-by-Israel” Gaza, “largest-open-air-prison” Gaza, “most-densely-populated-in-the-world” Gaza, “occupied-by-Israel” Gaza, “50% children” Gaza, or “70% refugees” Gaza.
All of these other descriptions are factual and “objective,” yet the opinion-leading media channels in the West deliberately and unprofessionally dismiss them, precisely because they accurately describe the harsh reality of the 2.3 million civilian population living, or more accurately, locked, there.
Instead of calling Gaza “Hamas-governed,” these media organizations have a responsibility to inform their readers that, firstly, Hamas was elected 17 years ago in 2006, meaning that half of the current population was not even alive at the time, let alone old enough to vote. Secondly, those who voted in 2006 included the 3 million people living in the West Bank and was by no means an election exclusive to Gaza.
But no, context is deliberately dismissed in the narrative of the mainstream media, leading to the manufacture of the beliefs of their audiences in a way that only serves to affirm the Israeli army’s narrative….